Bonnaroo vs. Firefly


This past Bonnaroo figured to again be labeled as the premier east coast music festival of the summer but faced surprising competiton from the first-ever Firefly Music Festival.

Firefly, held in Dover, Del. boasted incredible headliners that had the music world buzzing when its lineup was revealed. The festival somehow booked the reclusive but heavily acclaimed indie rock group Modest Mouse as well as the popular rock band The Killers.

One of the true lyricists of hip-hop, Lupe Fiasco was set to play. The prolific former White Stripe, Jack White was also scheduled and fellow blues rockers The Black Keys would close the festival. The festival’s date was set for July 20-22, about a month after Bonnaroo and one day shorter.

Bonnaroo’s headliners were every bit as impressive as Firefly’s. Radiohead would be making a return to the festival, exciting fans with hopes that the legendary British group could match it’s 2006 show at Roo.

With these two lineups, neither festival was ever going to be anything but a smashing success. Fans in attendance at either were treated to some of the best music of the summer.

At Bonnaroo, Radiohead played a set heavy with new music and live sample experimentation. The result was a show that was a bit subdued compared to its 2006 set but one that pushed the boundaries of how bands perform music.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered an exciting show and The Roots were mentioned by many as one of the best sets of the festival.

A pleasant surprise at Bonnaroo was the little known rock group Moon Taxi. They played the first night of the festival and nearly caused a riot when they covered Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the Name.”

Bon Iver delivered a beautiful and powerful set. Phish did what Phish does; jamming so hard that nobody knew or cared what song the band was playing.
The famous Bonnaroo heat was a bit tamer this year and the event went off without a hitch. Firefly had a lot to live up to.

On the first night in Dover, Jack White was the first headliner to perform.There could not have been a better opening act. White muscled his way through a catalog of his entire career. As one of the fans in the crowd said, “He was just face-meltingly good.”

The Killers put on a crowd-pleasing effort, playing all of their hits and also setting off some fireworks and confetti that resulted in the second most visually appealing show at the festival.
The event was a great success, surprising even the musicians. Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of The Killers seemed taken aback by the energy of the crowd, “Wow Delaware. Who knew?”


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